Re: hacktivism essay

From rhiann3n wyrcat <>
Date Wed, 29 Mar 2000 08:59:05 -0500

[: hacktivism :]

In response - 

a.) We're hosting an old-school (non-commercial)
"hacker" (by the definition you gave in your essay
of a nostalgic or white-hat) convention this
weekend in Atlanta, GA (
Interestingly enough, although some of the
"mild-havoc" you state may or may not materialize,
the actions of drinking large qualities of
alcohol, watching pornography, hiring strippers,
etc. fit many worn out descriptions of old jokes
surrounding corporate or organizational
conventions. (I'm reminded of the Ray Steven's
song "Shriner's Convention")  

b.) The IRC channels chosen are not conclusively
indicative of the "hacking" subculture. In fact,
they've developed a rather unfortunate negative
association due to the amount of "script kiddies"
who go there first or consider themselves
"hackers" by finding the channel (listed in a 2600
magazine picked up at the corner bookstore.) 
Regardless, my experience has been that the
cold-shoulder received by such queries as "Teach
me art of hack" tends to be more defensive based. 
Who wants to be associated with someone who
overtly or obviously desires the "scripts" and
tools to wreck havoc?  Guilt by association and
all that.

When questions such as "Help! I'm new to *nix, and
I'm having problems compiling my kernal, AND THE
presented, offers of help and guidance are usually
numerous, generous, and even enlightening to
others in the channel.  

It's about Learning.  It's about Curiosity.  It's
about Discovery.  And it's about Sharing
Knowledge. Questions asked by those who seem to be
taking steps along those routes tend to receive
favorable responses.  Questions that start "y0,
h4x0r '133t d00dz, h31p m3...": don't exactly
promote confidence in the questioner's sincerity
in learning in order to promote knowledge.....
c.) d00d! U l3ft 0ut (sorry, couldn't resist.*s)
"The Jargon File" (AKA, _The New Hacker's
Dictionary_) ( ) A
veritable smorgasbord of hacking subculture
terminology and definitions.  Also, there's no
mention of the highly informative online current
news and discussion forum  /. (
Or of the Neal Stephenson books such as
'Cryptonomicon'.  And, Ok, as far as movies go, an
overnight hacker gathering will most likely
produce a copy of the movie "Hackers" - to parody
and poke fun at as one of the cheesiest, silliest
movies ever made. 

Also, I've of the opinion (my own only, no flames)
that a majority of Hactivists may more likely come
from Activists who've discovered technology as a
useful tool rather than the reverse; although I do
not doubt in the least some Hackers may have
broadened their perspective to include activism. 

Coffee's done.....


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